Foreclosures pickup nationwide, statewide

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 12:16am

Call it one more sign that Nashville’s red-hot housing market could be slowing down.

Or filling a demand, depending on how one sees it.

Recent statistics compiled by RealtyTrac in its Midyear 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report show a total of 925,986 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 573,397 properties nationwide during the first six months of the year. RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties in the U.S.

Nationally, that’s up more than 30 percent from the previous six-month period and up more than 55 percent from the first six months of 2006. The report also shows a foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 134 U.S. households for the first half of the year.

And Tennessee figures were no exception to the trend.

Tennessee, in the latest study, ranks 12th in the U.S. in foreclosures, with 1 filing for every 123 households.

In all, there were 21,447 foreclosure filings against Tennessee homeowners in the first six months of 2007. That’s a 22-percent rise from the last six months of 2006 and a 12-percent increase from the first six months of 2006.

In Davidson County, RealtyTrac showed that 259 homes are currently in some type of pre-foreclosure status, while there are 1,327 properties that have gone back to bank ownership.

Another 144 properties are awaiting auction due to foreclosure proceedings.

Altogether, Davidson had 1,726 foreclosure filings in the first half of 2007, a 35 percent increase over the 1,279 filings recorded by RealtyTrac in the first half of 2006.

Local Realtors said the storm clouds have been gathering toward the foreclosure.

“Irresponsible lending” to people who previously wouldn’t have been considered credit-worthy, along with bundling all down payments, closing expenses and other home-buying fees into those loans — on top of the home price — were all warning signs, said Richard Courtney, managing broker for Fridrich & Clark and president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.

“You could see this coming for some time. This is a result of that type of lending,” said Courtney.

The foreclosures also give a double-whammy to the local housing market. If foreclosures suddenly flood the market, Courtney said, one effect would be depressed home prices across the board.

And — because of the questionable lending practices — many banks are foreclosing on properties that have fees and other expenses often thousands of dollars over the home’s worth. That keeps the price of the home too high, unless someone is willing to cover the loss.

“The bargains aren’t there for investors, because the price is more than the home is worth,” said Courtney.

There was one silver lining, however. Because many, if not most, foreclosures are on lower-priced houses, Courtney said they could ease the crunch in the “affordable housing,” $160,000-and-lower price point.

“We probably have the demand to handle that,” said Courtney. “Some of that inventory might be welcome.”

Filed under: City Business
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By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 7:00

““You could see this coming for some time. This is a result of that type of lending,” said Courtney.”’ Not that you would have mentioned it before now.

By: analogtom on 12/31/69 at 7:00

You should have stated Courtney's previous statements about how great the Nashville market is and how it is not happening here. Every time some negative news came out about the Nashville housing market, Courtney would spin it to say all is well here in Nashville, now he says “You could see this coming for some time. This is a result of that type of lending,”...?! Courtney should have said; "Everyone saw it coming except me, I've always said Nashville will be an execption to the National housing bubble bursting, can I sell you an inflated house, I can get you a great loan for 110% of the purchase price!" I wounder if any of his past deals have gone into foreclosure due to "questionable lending practices

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I'm hoping the rightie who posted on another thread about how great the home ownership statistics have become under W reads this article. Home ownership has dropped a few percentage points nationwide in the last six months and foreclosures have jumped 16 percent this month alone. Today American Home Mortgage has announced they may go under.Of course this is the economic blueprint for the Bush family and their ilk. Flood the marketplace with easy money so the big banks and big speculators can pick up property at bargain rates when the house of cards collapses.

By: dooley on 12/31/69 at 7:00

A sign of the times . Bush has collapsed every hope for any American who wants to own a home and live decently while on the other hand every house that is reposessed or foreclosed in my neighborhood is being bought by illegal aliens . Where are they getting the loans ? Would somebody tell me ? is the government subsidizing them or what? Is this some more of Bushs' rotten betrayals?